Oh, Mr Byers! Three weeks on, and the ripple effect from your rip-off Britain crusade is still being felt across grocery. The Competition Commission's report on supermarket profitability may have been an anti-climax, but your code of practice looks like keeping the issue near the top of many firms' unwanted agendas for a few more months. Even though most industry executives, and even some politicians, believe the code is an attempt to allow you to come out of the 16-month inquiry without too much egg on your face, you have certainly created a sting in the tale for the food chain. Sure, it was probably naive to expect you to accept something which had been devised voluntarily by the multiples. But judging by early reaction to the new code dreamed up by OFT lawyers, you've orchestrated a tough, unexpected final chapter to the saga. On the one hand you order the top five chains ­ those with more than 8% market share ­ to accept a legally binding code. Yet, on the other, despite their willingness to be participants, other multiples, plus the Co-op, have not so far been included in the negotiating process. And, adding to the tale are whispered asides that some of those who have seen the first OFT draft believe it to be "misguided and astonishingly naive". I know you aren't as close to grocery as your cabinet chum Nick Brown, but if the rumours are correct, we're witnessing another government department imposing something on a sector of which it has little understanding. At the time of writing, your fast track, three-month deadline for the code looks ambitious. So now much rests with the IGD, assuming you allow it to bring all sides to the table to ensure a concensus. For were you to enforce a code without full trade input, you would create a straitjacket scenario, with potentially disastrous effects on existing relationships across the chain. You might think about that Mr Byers! Clive Beddall, Editor {{OPINION }}